THE WEB STAR. Model, viner, youtuber and comedian Twan Kuyper shares his life’s story and his passion for fashion with DA MAN
Denim jacket by Pierre Balmain, denim trousers by Civil Regime
Really successful models tend to leverage their skills (and fame) to venture into other fields, typically fashion design or acting. Dutch model Twan Kuyper, however, took a decidedly different path and went on to become an online phenomenon. It started with Vine, where his channel amassed more than 2.1 million followers before the service was semi-discontinued in late 2016. Today, he continues to create vlogs, behind-the-scenes videos and—what’s really become his trademark—comedic skits on YouTube. All the while, he kept his modeling game on point and also branched out to more mainstream film productions. But when we peek under this long success story, what we find is a young man with the best talent of all: the drive to work hard.
DA MAN: Hi, Twan. Awesome to have you with us. Let’s start with some really basic questions: How did you get started in social media and online video creation?
Twan Kuyper: First of all, thank you for having me. I love this magazine! I started posting on the social media about two years ago with Vine videos, and it went pretty quickly for me. On my first day, I gained over 80,000 followers, and it just kept going from there the more I continued to make funny videos.
DA MAN: As a YouTube star, social media influencer, entrepreneur, model, etc., do you have anything resembling a “typical day at work”?
Twan Kuyper: Well, I don’t think there is such a thing as a typical workday in my industry. But as an example: I wake up, hit the gym, shoot videos, talk or meet with my manager, do my meetings, head to acting class and just go from there. Every day is really different, though, which makes life really interesting and fun.
DA MAN: When it comes to creating your videos, where do you usually start? Where do you usually get ideas and inspiration from?
Twan Kuyper: It really depends. Sometimes I write down my ideas for videos and then schedule a time to shoot. But sometimes I just sit down before I shoot, brainstorm really quick with creative ideas that are relatable to people, and think of funny scenarios around them.
DA MAN: What, would you say, has been the biggest challenges that you’ve had to overcome to get where you are today?
Twan Kuyper: Definitely pushing myself out of my comfort zone daily for the past two years, striving to become better and greater every day, and telling myself that I’m not going to stop no matter how big the obstacle might be.
Shirt by Drifter, trousers by Dockers
DA MAN: Lately, there has been a huge increase in people trying to make it big on YouTube, Instagram and other social media platforms. What was it that you did differently and made you successful in this business?
Twan Kuyper: It’s always really important that your videos and edits are well put together, and pleasant to watch. Also, I believe that I’ve always connected with my fans in a special way.
DA MAN: On a related note, what is one thing that almost everybody gets wrong about your profession?
Twan Kuyper: That it’s easy or that we don’t work hard, when it’s actually really time consuming. A lot of hard, passionate work goes into making this career—or any career—happen. Think about how many things we have to be able to do to just make videos: You have to be able to write, direct, shoot and edit. On top of being creative, you have to try and find a great manager or agent to handle business matters so that you can continue to move your career forward in the direction you’d like to go.